Quaker Studies

Quaker Women, Family Archives and the Construction of Identity: Analysing the Memoirs and Personal Papers of Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury (1858–1951)*

Quaker Studies (2011), 16, (1), 124–134.

Abstract

This article examines how Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury sought to define and perpetuate her family’s religious identity and legacy through the production of privately published memoirs celebrating their Quaker heritage and the creation of a personal archive chronicling their contemporary lives devoted to religiously inspired social action. Taylor Cadbury constructed narratives which forged a connection between the Quaker ministry and philanthropy of her ancestors and the religious and social service of more recent generations as a means of consolidating a collective identity among her family. The article considers how Taylor Cadbury shaped her own identity in relation to the religious values of her female Quaker predecessors through the personal papers which she collected. By exploring Taylor Cadbury’s efforts to preserve material recording her family’s Quaker faithfulness, the article demonstrates the significance of family archives for sustaining Quaker kinship networks and understanding Friends’ engagement with Quaker history during the early twentieth century.

Quaker Women, Family Archives and the Construction of Identity: Analysing the Memoirs and Personal Papers of Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury (1858–1951)*

Abstract

This article examines how Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury sought to define and perpetuate her family’s religious identity and legacy through the production of privately published memoirs celebrating their Quaker heritage and the creation of a personal archive chronicling their contemporary lives devoted to religiously inspired social action. Taylor Cadbury constructed narratives which forged a connection between the Quaker ministry and philanthropy of her ancestors and the religious and social service of more recent generations as a means of consolidating a collective identity among her family. The article considers how Taylor Cadbury shaped her own identity in relation to the religious values of her female Quaker predecessors through the personal papers which she collected. By exploring Taylor Cadbury’s efforts to preserve material recording her family’s Quaker faithfulness, the article demonstrates the significance of family archives for sustaining Quaker kinship networks and understanding Friends’ engagement with Quaker history during the early twentieth century.


Details

Author details

Smith, Helen